The Niland Express

Out in the desert when you have an application deadline to meet, sometimes you find yourself doing office work--collating, stapling, the usual--on a stack of soda cartons in front of the meat counter at the little store in town while you wait for your Niland Express with jalapeños and extra pickles. My timing's off: I hitched a ride in, but it took a while so I have an hour to laze in the shade while the trains howl by until the post office reopens after lunch. It's a good life these past few weeks, tale-telling with retired hitchhikers and rubbertramps, soaking up life advice from an honest-to-gods wizard, and I'll probably stop by the hotsprings on my way back.